Donkey Kong Family Tree

Since Donkey Kong’s first appearance alongside Mario in 1980 he has gone on to star in dozens of his own games, spin-offs and cross-overs. Naturally this has lead to an expansion of his own cast of family members.

With the revelation that Cranky Kong was in fact the character from that original 1980 game, fans have often wondered how the family falls into place.

By piecing together all of the information provided to us throughout the Donkey Kong games, let’s take a look at our favorite Ape family!

*M = Mate

Please note that this uses characters from the video games only. Sorry, Bluster! Additional information, references and such can be found below!

Familial Ties
*Special thanks to Nantenjex and Cart Boy for helping with the research*

Which Kong Family member is your favorite? Let us know in the comments section!

 

TheAnvil
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TheAnvil

From jolly old England, TheAnvil has a passion for video games that dates so far back it precedes his memory. His passion lies particularly and devoutly with Rare and Nintendo. He also creates a lot of sprites.
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8 comments

  1. I don’t think the Super Kongs are canon. Same with Pink DK Jr. (seems like just a doppelganger for multiplayer rather than an actual character).

    1. We don’t have much info about the Super Kongs which is why I included them in the graphic.

      Junior (I) is DK Jr’s (assumed) brother according to Math, he has his own unique name and everything!

      1. To elaborate a bit on the Super Kongs, both Professor Chops and Returns’ manual makes reference to summoning them when Donkey and Diddy need help, which implies they do exist in-universe as separate characters.

        Of course, discussing the finer points of their place in the series’ lore is kind of fruitless since they’re merely the game’s Super Guide, but a Kong family tree wouldn’t be complete without mentioning them.

  2. As far as I’m concerned with the DK family tree, this isn’t Uncle Scrooge!

    Classic DK is the father of Rare/Current DK and DK Jr. (would has been updated in years). DK Jr. Math gives a few hnts.

    I also flat-out ignore Cranky’s claims of being the original DK. And of the mythos of Cranky being current DK’s grandfather is true, how old do you think that makes Mario. Cranky is unrelated, while everyone else has their own separate family connections.

    This whole tree is a mess because the franchise had two different fathers in its 90’s heyday, Miyamoto and Rare. I just think that a giant ape antagonist shrinking into a wise ape elder is ridiculous.

    And I know a lot of people pick on this show, but the Nelvana cartoon handles things a lot better by keeping everyone unrelated.

    1. I disagree that the Kong’s family tree is a mess. The only meaningful point of contention is if Donkey Kong Jr. is the current Donkey Kong or his father (which is a topic I’d like to talk about someday).

      But most of this is merely background stuff that doesn’t affect the gameplay or anything, so you can stick to whatever interpretation you like. That said, discarding Cranky’s status as the original Donkey Kong completely undermines the character as Rare wrote him.

      I realize it’s odd how he aged for his Country revamp whereas Mario’s design remained static during the time, but it made sense. Donkey Kong 3, the last major Donkey Kong game, launched in 1983. Donkey Kong Country, which redesigned and expanded DK’s world, launched in 1994. An 11-year difference was really big back then! Aging Cranky and Jr. was, in my opinion, a clever way to contextualize that gap.

  3. “With the revelation that Cranky Kong was in fact the character from that original 1980 game”, is there a source? Like, was there a (re)confirmation about that?

    1. It was openly stated during Rare’s tenure on the series. It was confirmed from the get-go in Country’s manual and an arcade homage was the first thing we saw Cranky do in that game. It was also essential to how Rare characterized Cranky.

      Nintendo hasn’t emphasized that as much post-Rare, but it still gets affirmed here and there. Off the top of my head, it was mentioned in Brawl.

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